Twitter Nuts

In the space of only a few months, I have accrued well over five thousand Twitter followers. To be honest, I probably could have gathered another five thousand in that time, but the work on my upcoming book would have suffered (even more than it already has this summer). So, what’s my strategy? I followed all the advice of a good friend of mine who knows about Twitter. (And blogging, and writing . . . and a bunch of other neat stuff, too. You can follow his blog here: DanAlatorre.com.) aaaYOU may be happy to hear that he and his authorey friend Allison Maruska are compiling all you need to know about building a successful author platform into a new book. Stay tuned. I will definitely have a blog post outlining my success with their strategies when the time comes.

That’s how I managed to build my Twitter following so quickly. Without revealing any of Dan and Allison’s trusted Twitter tactics and ruining the spoils of their upcoming book, I would like to address what I have learned about the social media phenomena that’s all about contracting whatever you want to say into 140 characters or less. And, that can be summed up in 35: Some Twitter peeps are . . . crazy.

aaa

Here are a few Twitter truths I’ve come across.

  1. If you decide to shoot out a single automated message to new followers, beware of the self-appointed Twitter Police. People will yell at you. People will send you links to blogs that will yell at you. My truth is that my (one) automated DM to new followers has connected me with over three hundred aspiring and successful authors on Facebook and blogs that I might not have come in contact with, without the aid of my “impersonal” DM. So there. Unfriend me if you want. This isn’t high school. I’m not offended.
  2. Porn is everywhere. And, porn posters are tricksters. Sure, their blurb says they’re aspiring novelists *gasp* just like you, and then one day you’re scrolling through your feed and BLAMO, you see their clip of some naughty lady doing very bad things to get out of a speeding ticket.
  3. People sometimes assume that because they followed you, you should follow them back. Sometimes these people get incredibly angry when you don’t. Let me be clear, I am NOT on #teamfollowback. I follow people who have interests similar to mine, and a handful of news and science accounts. I do not follow the accounts of realtor blowhards who call me a c*^t when I don’t follow them back, or people who can’t stop tweeting pictures of boobies. Um, I have those? I know what they look like.
  4. If you are a woman, men will hit on you. Do yourself a favor. Block them immediately. I learned this the hard way. Trust me, you don’t want to stumble across a DM featuring their unit in all its lacking naked glory.
  5. There are a freaking ton of Harry Potter fans on Twitter. Seriously. It’s in every second bio. I’m starting to believe there are more Harry Potter fans on Twitter than Christians, sexual deviants, and self-appointed Twitter Police combined.aaa
  6. I am physically incapable of constructing an awesome Twitter bio. I’ve tried. I’ve stared at the blinking curser on my computer screen for sheer minutes, trying to think of one, but came up blank. Turns out, EVERYBODY ELSE is great at reeling them out. Want proof? Check out these awesome bios from a page I looked up on how to make one. (Yes, I wanted one that bad. #fail.)
        • I’m 25% mom 25% comedian 62% boobs 48% mathematician and 100% woman-monkey.
        • If you follow me, all of your dreams will come true. I also know the difference between your and you’re but I won’t lord it over you.
        • The only thing stopping me from being pure white trash is my lack of motivation.aaa
        • Don’t you just hate it when a sentence doesn’t end the way you octopus.
        • Bald. Unreliable. Easily distracte
        • You can follow me if you feel like it. You can also put peanut butter in your butthole, if you feel like it.
        • I always feel sad for seedless watermelons, because what if they wanted babies?
        • I am an actor and a writer and I co-created Soul Pancake and my son, Walter.aaaa

Taking the plunge into the Twittersphere has been an admittedly strange and (mostly) enjoyable ride. Before you jump in, know exactly what you’re getting into. Just like in real life people can be pretty crazy, and sometimes even a little more crazy as they cast their superior judgments from behind the security of their computer screens.  Some people may yell at you for your DMs. Some might ask you to help them learn English. Some may follow that up with a query as to your Social Insurance Number  . . . and general banking information. And, some people may show you their penis.

aaa What have been some of YOUR unexpected Twittering experiences?

40 thoughts on “Twitter Nuts

  1. Wow, you sure have had more fun on twitter than me. I keep getting bot accounts following and, thankfully, unfollowing a while later. There are some accounts that advertise they will give you 10k followers for $10 ahahaha, what a scam. Why would anyone want 10k bot accounts following them?
    All in all, twitter is an interesting platform and you can meet anyone on it.

    Great post,
    ~MF~

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right, getting 10k fake accounts to follow you isn’t the answer. Although, I could see why it might be attractive to people who’ve met some of the same people I have, haha. Despite the strange interactions, it is a great platform to interact with others, and thankfully, the block button is right there when you need it!

      Like

    • To be fair it’s also something that young businesses sometimes do in order to attract real followers. For example, if you’re a language school startup but you’ve only got 14 followers (your first class of students maybe?) you might buy 10K followers to boost your stats and give yourself more clout early on. You can get rid of these bots later once your platform has developed but because “more followers” is often incorrectly associated with “more credibility”, there is a decent business reason for some bot-purchases.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. THANK YOU!

    You always make me look good. As always, a very funny post. I’m not sure I get hit on as much as my lady author friend, but it’s not for lack of trying, I’m sure.

    One thing about the auto reply thing – if you gt 300 followers or likes or friends of whatever, KEEP DOING IT, IT WORKS. I may have to try that! I was never a fan of the auto reply but people do t fr a reason and the reason is: it works.

    The other thing I’ll mention is lists. Once you get a bunch of followers, you’ll see a bunch of tweets every day that you can’t read – and you can’t find the ones from your friends! Making a list allows you to skip over 100 penises (why don’t the women followers send boob pics? Just asking) and get to your pals, then you can scroll through the other stuff as needed. It works for me.

    Again, great post! You got to 5,000 REALLY fast! See you at 10,000! (Where the “K” resides, as in 10k followers.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • The lists are a great idea. I keep meaning to make them and then don’t, and I have to search certain people. I’ll have to start one today.
      I did get 5000 followers pretty fast, but 10k sounds even better. You better watch out. I’m gonna catch up to you soon. 😉
      We’ll see how well this translates into book sales, but for now I’m happy with the group of people I’ve connected with. I never realized how many great authors are out there who give writing and marketing advice for free! Connecting with those people alone has really shown me what a valuable resource Twitter is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here’s a tip for creating lists. The people you put on a list get a message that you added hem to your list. So call the list something good.
        Smart Author-ey people
        Awesome writers
        Smart as Hell people I should listen to
        Doesn’t mind an occasional penis tweet

        I’m literally laughing as I type that last one. Can you imagine getting a message that said you were on that list?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post – yesterday I had a women tell me she’d withdrawn her boobs, wanted to be seen intellectually, I tried to reassure her I could handle both, not heard from her since? Seriously though in the ~ 3 months I’ve been tweeting I’ve learnt the lesson of being far too naïve … of thinking most folk are real and genuine … big mistake it seems … but then again I seem to have let myself get drawn into the emotional romantic pseudo poetic clichés … mostly women … I know … I’ll move on. As for followers … it’s strange … at first it was a big deal … but I only have ~50 and don’t really care … there are 5 or 6 I’ve got to know and like, and yes one is you and God help me one is Dan, the others I DM and too call friends. I’m rambling, I know, I’m not ever giving up writing but blogs and tweets perhaps not for someone like me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m looking forward to Dan’s twitter book. Every once in a while I clean out my twitter account. I try to keep my group to writers, dog lovers, and readers. Ok, friends too. Having too many followers that weren’t interested in what I’m interested in kinda gets boring. And life is too short for boring.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hilarious and useful at the same time — yes! And thank you for the “not following back” bit. It just doesn’t always make sense. I mean, I have a blog where I post short stories. Someone who posts about her adventures in motherhood (or marathons, or quilting, or whatever) is also interested in short stories and follows me. That doesn’t mean I’m automatically interested in parenting, right?

    Even so, I’m a newbie, and I was starting to feel guilty about not following everyone who is kind enough to follow me, thinking about what my grandmother would say about being nice and doing unto others, and gee, there aren’t THAT many, it couldn’t hurt, right?.

    Clearly you saved me just in time. So if we’re not on #teamfollowback, where does that put us? #teamfollowbackonlyifitmakessensebutotherwisenoworriesthatsokay ? (Clearly I also need help with wordiness.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Joy! I enjoyed writing this, so I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.
      I will mention that even though I’m not necessarily on #teamfollowback, I often follow people back anyway, on their blogs and their Twitter accounts. Just like Dan mentioned earlier in the comments, you can make up lists on Twitter of the people you are really interested in, and then sort through the others as needed.
      People like to be followed. I liked receiving your comment just now, and I’m sure you like receiving them, too. Following and commenting on other people’s blogs and Twitter accounts are a great way for your blog and Twitter following to grow too, especially seeing as you’re just starting out!
      But, all that aside, we’re seriously going to come up with a new hashtag. You’re right, #teamfollowbackonlyifitmakessensebutotherwisenoworriesthatsokay ? is incredibly long. Didn’t you say you were a short story author? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s great, but is Twitter effective at all as far as selling books? Admittedly, I haven’t spent much time on there, but with the fleeting posts, quickly buried within a matter of seconds, I can see only two ways it might help: possibly developing friendships with the exchange of RT’s, and using a hashtag that might get you noticed by the right people. However, regarding networking, Facebook seems like a far more effective tool. At least, that’s been my experience, though I could be wrong!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re absolutely right, DM–I LOVE Facebook. It’s a much more personal way to communicate with others. That said, Twitter is the tool that connected me with 75% of my Facebook acquaintances. I only started my Facebook page about a month and a half ago, and I feel like it’s doing quite well.
      I’m not saying that all 5ooo of my connections on Twitter are necessary. But, I have made over twenty connections that I already know will come in handy when the time comes to get those Amazon reviews.
      And, for a long time I’ve considered setting up a crowdfund to offset the costs of hiring a professional editor for my book. I’m not sure that I will follow through with that anymore, but having a few thousand people in my pocket to (potentially) pitch to can’t be all bad can it?

      Liked by 2 people

      • For me it was FB where I started connecting with people, but maybe I should spend more time on Twitter and follow some of this advice. Time is the problem. Can’t spend all day on social media, and you know how time-consuming it can be!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I have a handful of people I email with. I have less than a dozen I spend “quality time” with on Facebook (chatting or whatever, as opposed to going through and reading and liking my friends posts). I have over 12,000 followers on Twitter but I chat with very few each day. It’s just not possible for me to chat with 12,000 people in any meaningful way. I think most follow because they enjoy the content I put out, and if they say something witty, I try to reply in kind, but realistically with 12,000 I probably won’t even see it. If I follow Stephen King, it’s just to see what he talks about on occasion; if I follow Jenny, it’s to interact and be supportive.

    And there’s the difference. When I had just a few followers on Twitter, it was easy to interact.

    In the end, do the social media you enjoy. Try different ones and stick with what works for you. Right now, for me, that’s my blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – in that order as far as where my efforts go. As far as which I enjoy, it’s Facebook #1, then my blog, then Twitter as a very distant third, then Instagram if I think about it – and I don’t (I have a reminder in my Outlook schedule that says “do something on Instagram.”

    I check FB 20x daily at least; I need a reminder to check Instagram).

    I LOVE chatting with my author friends on Facebook more than almost anything else. I love my blog and its great readers. I like Twitter much less but I’m still learning what it’s capable of. I’ll focus on Instagram one of these days but not soon.

    What have these various social medias done for me?

    Facebook lets me laugh and joke and help and support and be supported by people who I consider friends. We share writing advice and work on marketing ideas like business partners, and we sometimes discuss problems completely unrelated to writing, like vacations or issues at school. If they come to town, we are going out for drinks. Posting on Facebook publicly helped me decide about which book cover to use, among many other things.

    Twitter helps me find new friends, but mostly it helps me be a cheerleader for other authors. When I posted about beta readers, I got 20 in about 2 days (I needed maybe six). When I connect with somebody on Twitter, we eventually evolve over to email or Facebook. To me, Twitter is a big net with a broad range and the connect ratio is therefore very small – but it exists, and a small percent of lots and lots of people is still lots and lots of people.

    The blog is where I ask the Twitter followers to connect. I talk about the blog in my Tweets and some folks go there to see what I’m up in arms about. If they like what they see, they follow the blog and begin to comment or reblog, while I reblog and comment with them. It’s more writing oriented but we talk about anything. If I have an issue with doing laundry, I’ll post about it on the log, but typically that’d go on Facebook.

    Instagram is currently receiving the top tweet from the prior day, with an author-themed image or meme, and occasionally pictures of me and the can on a vacation or Busch Gardens.

    In other words, I put out what I’d like to receive.

    I’m not an autograph hound or celebrity follower, but technology has allowed me to correspond with certain people I’d never have been able to connect with as a kid. That’s what I try to be for people. I’m not a celebrity (except to my five year old daughter, and yes I’m going to milk that as far as I can because one day Dad won’t be cool), I just play one on the interwebs, and I try to be what I’d like my “heroes” to be. Friendly, helpful, and funny. A good resource n my blog. A good friend on Facebook. A witty comment on Twitter. A real person out having fun when I appear on Instagram

    Does it sell books? Sure. But if you think that’s a fast or easy process, it’s not. Ads sell books (if they’re good ads) much faster. But adds don’t tell me how I made a reader cry, or how I transported them back in time to when their adult children were magically babies again, or how they turned pages so fast they stayed up til 4am because they had to know what happened next in a story, or how I helped talk them off the ledge when they were frustrated, or inspired them to…

    Well, you get the idea.

    To me, building a platform – which is what social media is for authors who want to sell – is a long term arrangement. To me, it’s that girl who wants a relationship, not a one night stand. What I want from my platform might be different from what you want, and what works for you will be different from what works for me. (Although maybe try not to be the drunk guy at the bar trying to get laid on the first date.) What your readers want from you will be different from want mine want from me – maybe.

    That’s the part we all have to figure out for ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I actually like Twitter, but I don’t have 5k followers, either. I look at it as a chat room that you can customize. I’m trying to figure out Facebook, and that’s driving me nuts, which is depressing. I really need to find a teenager and pay them to show me how to use it. But Twitter’s easy, and I love #MondayBlogs, #BlogBattle, and #1lineWed.

    I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder on that one. Although I’m totally with you on the sneaky porn people. Thank heaven for blocking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like Twitter too! Don’t let my rant misguide you. I’ve met a great network of people on Twitter, many who have been incredibly helpful to me over the past couple of months.
      Some are just . . . not quite as helpful, haha. I haven’t checked out #blogbattle yet. I’ll take a peek now. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  9. Nothing wrong with loving Harry Potter lol! But seriously, good post. I’ve been trying to figure out twitter for a while now so will have to read Dan’s book – think I have a slight issue in that by day I’m writing finance and by night I’m writing my novel… and then there’s the segways into the blogosphere… #noconsistancy

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are so many ways to become distracted, between “real jobs,” blogs, twitter accounts, and critique groups. Staying on task and finishing up an actual book can become quite a task! I didn’t really understand Twitter until Dan pointed out the benefits, and even though it can be a crazy world, It’s begun to grow in me, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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